Cable entrepreneur Glenn Jones is considering making an offer for troubled Hollywood independent Samuel Goldwyn Co., Jones said July 19.
Also interested in Goldwyn’s theater chain is producer Roger Corman, president of Concorde – New Horizons Pictures, who has teamed up with former partner Frank Moreno and Motion Picture Corp. of America’s Brad Krevoy to make an offer.
But both Jones and Corman will have to work fast. Three weeks after Goldwyn hired investment firm Furman Selz to try to sell the company, a deal is getting close. Among the companies thought to have made bids already are Polygram and Turner Broadcasting, while Viacom’s Paramount Pictures is believed to be reviewing due diligence information. Goldwyn is valued at around $140 million.
Jones Intl., which owns a small movie production business and controls publicly traded cable operator Jones Intercable, also is analyzing Goldwyn’s finances. “We are interested in the company. We see things there that might be attractive,” Jones said, adding his interest is in all of Goldwyn’s assets – film production, 850-film library and its chain of 50 arthouse theaters.
Jones said he has yet to decide about making an offer and declined to comment on what Goldwyn is worth.
Corman, famous for his low-budget B-grade pictures, said his group would offer a little under $30 million for the theater chain, which has been valued at closer to $50 million. But, Corman said, “We feel it’s not really worth that amount of money,” adding that the theaters needed renovations costing $5 million-$10 million.
Corman said the group would put up about half the money and it had lined up $15 million in financing from Prudential. Corman and Moreno have experience running theaters, having bought the Wometco circuit five years ago from Furman Selz, Corman said. Corman and Moreno sold those theaters last year. He said Moreno would run the theaters if the group succeeded.
For Corman, ownership of the theater chain would be one way to improve exhibition of his pictures, which he said recently had become tougher. But Corman said the synergistic benefit for his production company was only one reason for the deal – the theaters “would have to be a stand-alone company capable of making a profit” as well.
But the offer from Corman’s group is given little chance of success. Goldwyn is thought to want to sell the company as a whole, and Corman is regarded as a “low-ball” bidder.
Corman agreed that Goldwyn wanted to sell the company intact. He said he would consider making an offer in partnership with another buyer.
But time is running out for Corman, Jones or any other interested party. It is understood a deal could be struck within 10 days, given that some buyers already have made firm offers.